Signs

Unless otherwise exempted, a Zoning Permit shall be obtained prior to erecting any sign in any zoning district.

The following types of signs are exempt from obtaining a Zoning Permit:
i. Signs not exceeding two (2) square feet in area that are customarily associated with a residential use and are not of a commercial nature, including the address and/or the name of the occupants.
ii. Signs erected by a governmental entity for a recognized public purpose and duly authorized by any law, statute or ordinance. Such signs include legal notices and traffic control devices, provided such signs carry no supplementary advertising.
iii. Signs that are on the inside of a structure or building that are designated or located so as to be typically visible from outside the window.
iv. Temporary signs clearly in the nature of decorations customarily associated with a national, local or religious holiday. Such signs shall be of any illumination or animation provided that a safety and/or visibility hazard is not clearly created.

Sign Permits

You can find the application for a sign permit here

The fee for a permanent sign permit is $50.00 for the first 20 sq. ft + $2.25 per each additional sq. ft.

The fee for a temporary sign is $25

The full sign regulations can be found in Section 1145.07 of the Official Zoning Code.

You can look up the zoning district for a property using the GIS Zoning Map

If the property is located within the Historic District Overlay, a Certificate of Appropriateness will need to be issued by the Historic Review Board before applying for a sign permit. The application for a Certificate of Appropriateness can be found here.

How to Submit Permit Applications:

  1. In person – Our office is located at 104 E Franklin St. Our hours are 7:30am – 4:00 pm. Stop by to drop off permit applications and pay the permit fee. We accept cash, checks, and cards.
  2. By Mail – Send the permit application and a check for the fee by mail to City of Circleville Attn: Planning & Zoning, 104 E Franklin St. Circleville, OH 43113.
  3. Remotely – Email the permit application to Hannah Wynne, Planner, here. Payments can be made with card over the phone at 740-477-8224.

Permanent Signs

Definition: A sign intended to be erected, displayed or used, or in fact which is used for time period in excess of 30 days within any 180-day period.

Ground Mounted Signs:

Definition: A type of free-standing sign that is supported by a monument style base and does not include any poles, pillars or posts.

Example Sign Measurements:

A maximum of two faces are allowed per sign. Both sides of the sign will count towards the maximum square footage.

Wall Signs:

Definition: A sign attached to a building face, with the exposed face thereof in a plane parallel to the plan of the wall. Wall signs include, messages, graphics and other designs painted along with any letters or numerals mounted directly on buildings or awnings. A wall sign over 125 sq ft is considered a wallscape.

Example Sign Measurements:

Projecting Signs:

Definition: A sign which extends outward perpendicular to the building face. 

Example Sign Measurements:

Each side of the sign counts towards the maximum square footage.

Canopy Signs:
Window Signs:

Definition: A sign, graphic, poster, symbol or other identification which is physically affixed to or painted on the glass or other structural component of the window.

Pylon Signs:

Definition: A type of free-standing sign that is supported by pole(s), pillars, posts or other freestanding support and is less than 200 square feet.

Any parcel that is zoned GB shall be permitted to have one Pylon Sign that does not exceed twenty-five (25) feet in height and two-hundred square feet. If a property in the GB district abuts two public rights-of-way, the Pylon Sign shall be placed along the right-of-way with the greater traffic count. There shall be no more than two sign faces, which shall be placed back-to-back to one another. Each sign face shall count toward the maximum size of the sign and the total maximum square footage of all signs. Pylon Signs are prohibited in all other locations within the city.

Drive Thru Boards:

Any drive-thru good and beverage establishment, car wash, or other similar use may have 1 small, 1 medium, and 1 large drive-thru board per lane. Drive thru board signs shall be permitted to have changeable copy electronic display messages may be permitted provided the graphics and/or words on the sign change no more than once per car service. Video, flashing images or effects, or moving content shall be prohibited.

Small drive-thru boards:

  • Max Size: 2.5 sq ft
  • Max Height: 5 ft
  • Must be located on the drive-thru speaker

Medium drive-thru boards:

  • Max Size: 15 sq ft
  • Max Height: 8 ft
  • Must be located between 1 and 5 feet from the edge of the pavement

Large drive-thru boards:

  • Max Size: 50 sq ft
  • Max Height: 8 ft
  • Must be located between 1 and 5 feet from the edge of the pavement
Way Finding Signs:

Definition: Any sign which provides direction or guidance to help navigate a person to a specific location of an institution, organization or business, or property.

There may be two way finding signs per access driveway connecting to a public or private street. Way finding signs shall be limited to a maximum height of three (3) feet, a maximum area of six (6) square feet per side and shall be located outside of the right-of-way and on the property of the user(s) of which they are identifying the entry or exit.

Billboards:

Definition: A type of free-standing sign that is mechanically produced or computer generate prints or images, including but not limited to digitally printed vinyl and/or 3-D printed elements, that are typically attached or affixed to a pole or other type of free-standing support. Said signs are greater than 200 square feet.

Billboards shall be prohibited in all districts except the GB and IE Districts. In the GB and IE Districts, Billboards shall be considered conditional uses and shall not exceed 300 square feet in area and 35 feet in height; shall be setback a minimum of 200 feet from the right-of-way, and a minimum 1,500 feet from any residential zoning district or existing residential use. There shall also be a minimum of 1,000 feet between off-premises signs.

Entry Feature Signs:

Definition: A sign intended to provide the identity a residential development or commercial development with more than one lot or tenant.

Each development (residential or non-residential) that consists of more than one (1) lot or contains a multi-tenant building is permitted to have one Entry Feature Sign that does not exceed twenty (20) square feet (per side), ten (10) feet in height and setback a minimum of ten (10) feet from the right-of-way.

Murals:

Original Art Mural Definition: A type of wall display that has a primary purpose of displaying an original work of visual art produced by hand that is tiled or painted directly upon directly to an exterior wall of a structure. Original Art Mural does not include:

1. Mechanically produced or computer-generated prints or images, including but not
limited to digitally printed vinyl; or
2. Murals containing electronical or mechanical components; or
3. Changing mural images 

Original Art Mural Requirements: Original Art Murals that meet all of the following requirements shall be issued a Mural Permit by the Zoning Inspector:
A. Original Art Murals are permitted only in the NB, GB, DB, CS, IE and PMD districts.
B. The mural shall remain in place without alteration, for a period of five (5) years. The applicant shall certify in the permit application that the applicant agrees to maintain the mural in accordance with this regulation.
C. The applicant, if different from the property owner, must obtain an affidavit from the building’s owner giving permission for the applicant to adhere the mural to the building.
D. There shall be no more than one Original Art Mural per parcel or per building, whichever is more restrictive.
E. Murals shall only be permitted on sides and rear elevations and shall be prohibited on front elevations of buildings.
F. No part of the mural shall exceed the height of the structure to which it is tiled or painted.
G. The materials or paint utilized to create the mural shall be weatherproofed or resistant to wear.
H. The mural shall be properly maintained through repair and paint, or any necessary treatment so as to prevent decay. Defective or insufficient weather protection for exterior treatments and facades, including fading paint or materials or graffiti shall be promptly repaired or shall otherwise be subject to the violation provisions in Section 1115.01 of the Zoning Code.
I. Murals on properties within the PMD must be part of the originally approved development plan or an amendment to said plan must be approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission prior to the Zoning Inspector issuing a Mural Permit.
J. Murals on properties within the Historic Overlay District must obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic Review Board prior to the Zoning Inspector issuing a Mural Permit.
K. Murals that would result in a property becoming out of compliance with any other City Ordinance shall be prohibited.

Vintage Art Mural Definition: A type of wall display that has a primary purpose of displaying an original work of visual art produced by hand that was tiled, painted directly upon or affixed directly to an exterior wall of a structure prior to the date of adoption of this Ordinance.

Vintage Art Mural Requirements: All murals created prior to the date of adoption of the Zoning Code shall be considered existing non-conforming and may be maintained in accordance with Chapter 1117 of the Zoning Code.

Total Maximum Square Footage of All Signs:

NB, DB districts: 150 sq. ft. for internal lots, 250 sq. ft. for corner lots

GB, CS, IE districts: 350 sq. ft. for internal lots, 500 sq. ft. for corner lots

PMD/PUD: Per Approved Development Plan, amendments must be made through the Planning & Zoning Commission

Temporary Signs

Definition: A display, banner, or other advertising device constructed of cloth, canvas, fabric, wood, or other temporary material, with or without a structural frame, including but not limited to portable signs, feathered flags, development signs, community event signs, Garage sale signs, real estate signs, sandwich type signs, sidewalk or curb signs, and balloon or other air or gas filled figures.

The following Temporary Sign regulations apply to all zoning districts:

1. Temporary Signs shall be prohibited within the right-of-way.
2. In LDR, MDR, HSU, TUR, MUR and MHR zoning districts, three (3) Small Temporary Signs shall be permitted per parcel per street frontage without a permit. In all other zoning districts, up to six (6) Small Temporary Signs shall be permitted per parcel per street frontage without a permit. Each Small Temporary Sign shall be seven (7) square feet in area or less and less than three (3) feet in height. Additionally, on all properties within the NB, GB and IE Districts, each parcel shall be permitted to have one (1) feathered flag that does not exceed twelve (12) feet in height.
3. Two (2) Large Temporary Signs shall be permitted per parcel provided a Sign permit is issued in accordance with the following regulations. Large Temporary Signs shall not:

  • (a.) Exceed eight (8) feet in height
  • (b.) Exceed thirty-two (32) square feet in area (per Sign face)
  • (c.) On parcels of five (5) acres or less, such signs shall be displayed for no more than thirty (30) consecutive days and no more than three (3) times per calendar year. A new permit must be obtained for each thirty (30) day or less period. After said permits have been exhausted, the Zoning Inspector may grant one (1) extension for up to ninety (90) days per Sign. No other extensions may be administratively approved and must be approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals. On parcels that are greater than five (5) acres, such signs may be displayed for up to three-hundred and sixty-five (365) days. Upon the expiration of this permit, the Zoning Inspector may grant one (1) extension up to an additional one-hundred eighty (180) days. No other extensions may be administratively approved and must be approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals.

4. Small and Large Temporary Signs shall not count toward the total maximum square footage of signs permitted on a lot.
5. The sign permit number for Large Temporary Signs must be printed on the sign in a visible location.

***TEMPORARY SIGNS CANNOT BE PLACED IN THE PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY***

Prohibited Signs

The following types of signs are prohibited in the City of Circleville:

  • Signs painted directly on the surface of a fence
  • Roof signs/Roof-mounted signs
  • Portable Displays or Mobile Signs
  • Gas or Air-Filled Devices
  • Revolving or Rotating Signs
  • Exposed Neon Signs
  • Exposed LED Signs
  • Rotating Signs
  • Signs with flashing messages or bare bulbs
  • Signs on backlit awnings
  • Flashing Signs
  • Video Signs
  • Signs with moving text or pictures
  • Bench Signs
  • Wallscapes (wall mounted sign greater than 125 sq. ft.)
  • Off-Premises Signs